This painting is the largest I've done in this style. Acrylic and charcoal on watercolor paper, it's 40" X 40". It underwent the usual process, enduring many layers with scraping and smearing in between. I like it enough, it is my default tree motif, after all. But it falls dangerously into the category of pleasing the crowd. It represents, to me, a safe approach and one that isn't necessarily authentic. I don't want to dismiss it because I do love the layering and texture. It's just that the paintings I've worked on since completing this one have felt different. They have been offering a dialogue back as I paint them. They've been letting me get involved.
This painting is 14" X 20", acrylic, charcoal and ink, and an example of what happens when I'm thinking less about "pleasing the crowd" and painting more authentically (or being truer to what I want the painting to look like). It is a step toward what my second 40" x 40" painting is turning out to be. I'm working on that one now and experiencing, for the first time since I started painting this way last fall, a real satisfaction that what I'm creating is really mine. It's an awesome feeling. Hard to explain. Something like having 100 children and they all seem like sweet, likable strangers. And then you have one that, when it looks back at you, you see yourself.
So I promise to introduce you to her as soon as she tells me she's ready for the world! In the meantime, here's her not-so-distant sibling, full of intriguing details and "serious whimsy".